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Section 3

Book Review By Michael D Booker (September 2004)


Author: Martin Marix Evans

Publisher: Airlife Publishing Limited
An Imprint Of The Crowood Press
Wiltshire SN8 2HR

ISBN: 1 84037 409 8

First Published in 2004

UK Price: £9.99

This superb, handy sized and excellent value for money book, is an ideal quick reference guide covering all major land, sea and air battles of the Great War. Sure to appeal to anyone with an interest in this important, yet tragic period of our history, it provides concise overviews of over 50 campaigns that took place in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans and Russia between 1914 and 1919.

The author has included some very useful statistical information on the forces involved, equipment used, together with the tactics employed and has backed up his excellent text with a large selection of useful maps and fascinating black and white and colour photographs – many of which, are published for the first time! The list of suggestions for further reading and museums and sites of related interest also included, will prove to be invaluable.

At just £9.99,this volume is a must for the battlefield guide and tourist alike, as well as students of military history and family historians.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (October 2004)


Author: PhilipWarner

Publisher: Pen And Sword Military
Pen & Sword Books Limited
47 Church Street
South Yorkshire S70 2AS

ISBN: 1 84415 114 X

Published In 2004

UK Price: £12.99

The majority of people, when asked to name any Second World War special forces unit, will more often than not, answer - "the SAS, Commandos, or Parachute Regiment"! During this period however, an amazing number of secret, allied military units were in fact operating! The sole purpose for their existence , was to infiltrate enemy lines and whilst carrying out covert operations, gather intelligence, perform acts of sabotage and of course, harass the enemy in any shape or form possible!Drawing on privileged interviews with real-life heroes and the extraordinary men who led them, this interesting volume (written by an "expert" author, who fought in Malaya and spent over a thousand days, as a Prisoner Of War of the Japanese) is packed to capacity, with fascinating stories of many, little known actions, fought by the brave men of units, bearing unorthodox names, such as Merrills Marauders, the OSS and Chindits, the SIS and Long Range Desert Group. Nearly sixty years have passed since the Second World War ended. This excellent book, is therefore able to "lift the veil" on these "special" units and detail the actions in which they were involved ,thus illustrating their unique contribution towards the war effort and overall allied victory.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (September 2004)


Author: Martin Easdown with Thomas Genth

Publisher: Pen & Sword Local
Pen & Sword Books Limited
47 Church Street ,
South Yorkshire S70 2AS

ISBN: 1-84415 119 0

First Published in 2004

UK Price: £12.99

Due to its unique location, coupled with the excellent road, rail and ferry links, Kent is now considered by many, to be Britain’s “Gateway to Europe”. However. what are seen as the advantages of this closeness to the Continental mainland today, actually put this “Garden of England” county, very much into the forefront, during both World Wars!

The dog fights and air raids over Kent during the Battle of Britain and World War 2, are still within living memory and are accurately documented on both paper and film, unfortunately, the events that took place during the Great War, were not so well recorded and therefore the details are generally quite sketchy and anyone visiting the bustling Kent ports of Dover and Sheerness or one of the nearby coastal towns of Ramsgate, Folkestone, Margate today, would find it difficult to believe, that these locations were once the sites of the first ever air raids on British soil by German bombers nearly ninety years ago!

The first attack, which took place on the evening of 25th May 1917, when a raid on Folkestone by German Gotha bombers, resulted in nearly 100 people being killed by one bomb alone, forms the main part of this excellent book. The author has carried out extensive and pain-staking research and as a result, has produced a most fascinating volume, which is packed full of many excellent and previously unpublished photographs. He provides full and accurate details of this raid, together with information on other devastating and horrific raids and events of the period. He includes extensive details of the casualties involved, therefore making this superb book a unique and invaluable reference tool for anyone interested in Kentish family, local or military history and of course the Great War.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (October 2004)


Edited By: Dr Adrian Greaves

Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Pen & Sword Books Limited
47 Church Street
South Yorkshire
S70 2AS

ISBN 1 84415 063 1

First Published in 2004

UK Price: £19.99

The international success of the epic film “ZULU”, together with more recent T.V. documentaries, the increase in tourism to South Africa and the painstaking work of the Anglo Zulu War Society, has resulted in the bloody battles of Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana becoming almost household names, instead of being relegated to the history books and forgotten about. The demand for more detailed and accurate information on this 19th century campaign, is therefore sought on an almost daily basis!

This superb book provides the reader with a wealth of fascinating information. Taken from ground-breaking articles, previously published in past editions of the Journal of the Anglo Zulu War Society, specific battles, as well as the war in general, together with the unique perspective from both sides, are covered in superb detail. Personal accounts from previously unseen diaries are included and are supported with accurate maps, diagrams and photographs, which help complete the overall picture, therefore making this essential reading for those planning to tour the South African battlefields, or researching someone who perhaps fought in this far away war. The casual reader will also find this publication both informative as well as entertaining and will, I am be a welcome addition to many bookshelves.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (September 2004)


Author: Colonel H C Wylly C.B.

Publisher: Naval & Military Press Ltd
Unit 10
Ridgewood Industrial Park
East Sussex TN22 5QR

ISBN: 1843425394

First Published: 1925
Reprinted 2003

UK Price: £22.00

This excellent publication, will without a doubt prove to be an invaluable source of reference for anyone with a specific interest in the Queens Royal (West Surrey) Regiment, especially during the Great War period. However, this is just one title in a series of over 200 highly successful reprints of the various official Regimental histories, produced by this specialist publishing company.

During the Great War, the Regular, Territorial Force and Service Battalions of this proud Regiment, saw active service on the Western Front, Galliopli, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Italy, Egypt and India. They gained an incredible total of 5 Victoria Crosses, however in return for their dedicated commitment to King and country, an exceptionally high price was paid - over 8000 men from twenty five battalions/thirty one units were killed in action! Losses were so horrific, that by the first week of November 1914, in the 1st Battalion alone, there were just 32 survivors out of the original 998 men! The same battalion, also went on to lose five of its Commanding Officers in action!

All battalions of “The Queens” and the theatres of war in which they fought, are covered in this volume on a chronological basis, therefore providing students of military history, battlefield guides and tourists, family history researchers and those with a general interest in the Great War, with accurate information, that cannot be found in this detail anywhere else!

A splendid volume indeed, at just £22.00! It represents excellent value for money and I feel sure that this, together with the other titles in the series, will prove to be exceptionally popular and in much demand.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (October 2004)


Author : Darryl Kelly

Published by: ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee (Queensland) Incorporated

ISBN 09581625 3 0

This is a really excellent publication, which in the words of the author, is a selection of "stories of ordinary Australians doing extraordinary things in time of war". The term "stories" may give the wrong impression, as this splendid book, is actually based on fact - not fiction!Using a vast variety of material, such as unit histories, personal war service records & diaries together with newspaper articles and interviews with veteran's relatives, to write this very informative volume, the author has succeeded in "capturing" the real spirit of ordinary Australian Soldiers in the Great War.Not every chapter covers the story of a real war hero! What it does do however, is to provide the reader with a fascinating insight, into the way in which average Australian men and women, together with their fellow family members and friends, answered the call to arms, in support of their country or Motherland, at the time when the world was at a turning point in history. Tales of Glory, triumph, humour, deprivation, suffering, fear, grief, heart-ache and hardship, are all described, in some shape or form, in at least one or more of the fascinating stories told in this brilliant and most entertaining volume. The very readable text is backed up with a host of excellent photographs. Therefore, I am sure that anyone interested in the Great War, the A.I.F., or Australian history, together with the casual reader, will find this superb book a delight to read and have on ones bookshelves.(Note: If you are on the Somme, this excellent book is available from Avril Williams's Tea Rooms at Auchonvillers, priced 32 Euros!).

15 October 2004

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